If you ever need a visual representation of the saying, “the sky’s the limit,” just look to singer, songwriter, actress, humanitarian, beauty guru, and fashion mogul, Rihanna.
Born Robyn Rihanna Fenty on February 20, 1988 in Saint Michael, Barbados her track record is nothing but impressive and continues to amazes the world with all that she accomplishes.
Coming from what some may consider a troubled home, Rihanna’s journey to success was nowhere near easy but at the young age of 16, she began to really make a name for herself. So, we want to give her her flowers and highlight all of her major career accomplishments thus far.
2004/2005 – Discovery
While Rihanna was kind of a loner and shy in school, she formed a girl group with two of her peers. The group bagged an audition with OG music producer Evan Rogers while he was vacationing in Barbados. It was at that moment, Rogers knew he had discovered a star.
“The minute Rihanna walked into the room, it was like the other two girls didn’t exist,” he continued, “she carried herself like a star even when she was 15. But the killer was when she opened her mouth to sing.”
As a result, Rogers invited Rihanna to the states to work on her music and once she turned 16, she relocated to the U.S. It wasn’t long before Rogers started sharing Rih’s demo with record labels and Def Jam Recordings, attracting the attention of then CEO, Jay-Z who signed her to the label for a six-album record deal.
2005-2007 – Topping the Charts
In August of 2005, we got Music of the Sun, Rihanna’s first studio album. The leading single on the album was none other than the iconic “Pon de Replay,” which was a huge success and hit Top 10 across the globe, including the U.S. and the U.K. Ironically, “Pon de Replay” was on her initial demo and solidified Jay-Z wanting to sign her, so, it’s no surprise that the song was an undeniable success and perfect summer-time bop.
Fast forward to 2006, Rihanna released her second studio album, A Girl Like Me which featured her first ever number one single, “SOS.” This project was another commercial success as it was certified platinum by the RIAA and “SOS” hit number one on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100.
In 2007 there was a shift. The reserved and shy girl from Barbados was gone and the world saw a new Rihanna, hence the title of her third studio album, Good Girl Gone Bad. She received several Grammy nominations for this album and won ‘Best Rap/Sung Collaboration’ for her song “Umbrella.”
2010 – Redhead era Rhi
This was an iconic year for Queen Riri because not only did she release her fifth studio album, Loud, she also switched things up on fans and dyed her hair to a fire engine red. This was also the year she received her first ‘Album of the Year’ nomination at the Grammys.
2012 – She Can Act Too
While Rihanna made her first acting cameo back in 2006 on Bring it On: All or Nothing, her first role as a main character came in 2012 when she played Petty Officer Cora Raikes in the film Battleship, which helped her win a Teen Choice Award for ‘Choice Movie Breakout Star.’ She would also go on to continue acting in films like the heist movie Ocean’s 8.
2012-2013 – She’s a Winner
In 2012, she released her seventh studio album, Unapologetic, which became her first number one album and helped her earn a Grammy for ‘Best Urban Contemporary Album.’
She also took home her sixth Grammy win in 2013 for ‘Best Short Form Music Video,’ and continued on the winning streak by securing the Billboard Music Award for ‘Top R&B Artist’, ‘Top R&B Song’, ‘Top R&B Album’, and the BET Award for ‘Best Female R&B/Pop Artist.’
2014-2020 – Beauty & Fashion Guru
In 2014, Rihanna was named creative director of Puma, and unless you live under a rock, you remember the Fenty fur Puma slides and creepers. They quite literally had the girls in a chokehold and definitely was some foreshadowing for what direction Rih wanted to take her career.
Branching out on her own, Rihanna launched her beauty line, Fenty Beauty in 2017. Fenty Beauty ultimately raised the standards for the beauty company as it debuted with a variety of shades totaling 40 different foundation tones. This same year, Forbes listed Fenty Beauty as one of the best inventions of the year.
The following year, she released her own lingerie line, Savage X Fenty. Maintaining her need for inclusivity, the products came in a range of shades to match with any skin tone and she utilized models of every size.
In 2020, she added an extension to Fenty Beauty creating an exclusive skin care line titled, Fenty Skin.
2022 – The Humanitarian
Back in 2017, Rihanna received the Humanitarian of the Year Award from Harvard University, but in 2022 she donated $15 million to help combat climate change in the Caribbean through her foundation, the Clara Lionel Foundation.
2023 – Still killing the game
Rihanna is currently nominated for an Oscar for her song “Lift Me Up” on the Black Panther: WAKANDA Forever soundtrack.
And while we hadn’t seen her on stage or heard her perform music in nearly 4 years, she returned to perform at the LVII Super Bowl Half-Time show where it was confirmed that she is currently pregnant with her second child.
But while the world felt like the new baby was a sign that she was never going to make music again, Rihanna told British Vogue that she wants to release an album this year. “Like, honestly, it’d be ridiculous if it’s not this year,” she said.